Charlie Murphy On How To Make It In Comedy and Setting Himself Apart


Charlie Murphy sat down with The Breakfast Club to talk about family life, his first stand up gig, and more back in 2011. Sadly, the legendary comedian passed away at the age of 57 after a battle with leukemia. He was known not only for his stand up, but for his role on The Chapelle Show as well. Murphy talked in depth about what it takes to make it as a comedian and how even after you make it you can still face tough situations. "Every comedian does get booed. And whenever it does, it's your fault. You can never blame it on the audience because as a professional comedian you're supposed to be able to read what the situation is," Murphy said of those tough moments on stage. "It doesn't mean you aren't funny. It means you didn't read the situation. You learn that from doing shows. The dynamic of every room is not the same."  

Even though Murphy reached a level of success many up and coming comedians aspire to reach, he still remembered his humble beginnings. Like all stand up comedians, he started out making very little money doing small sets at comedy clubs. "The system, the way it's set up, says 'okay, we're gonna pimp you first.' When you first show up on the scene, you're gonna beg to be allowed to go up on stage. And they're gonna give you $25 and you just killed the room! 'Here's $25, you can come back next Thursday.' If you don't do that, don't come back here next Thursday." 


He also opened up about his younger brother Eddie Murphy, who Charlamagne refers to as "one of the greatest comedians of all time." The older Murphy brother spoke about how he sets himself apart and found his own niche in the world of comedy. "I'm not part of the crew, okay, the Eddie Murphy Crew. The crew is Chris Rock, Aresenio, that's his crew. I don't hang out with them. I don't hang around and try to get their energy. As a matter of fact, I haven't really gone around anybody like that. I've been allowed to develop as me." 

While Murphy wasn't running around with his brother and Chris Rock, he did cultivate a deep friendship with fellow comedian Dave Chappelle over the years. He described their relationship as "excellent," and spoke about the "rockstar ovation" he gets at his shows. Murphy called his friend The Beatles of stand up comedy and even referred to him as a comedy god. The two worked together on The Chappelle Show for years and even though it came to an end "people still react to it like it's fresh and just happened yesterday. Not many things resonate like that."


Murphy is predeceased by his wife Tisha Taylor Murphy who passed away from cervical cancer in Dec. 2009. The comedian leaves behind four children and one grandchild. Rest in peace, Charlie Murphy. Thanks for all the laughs. You will be missed. 


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